Praising The Mediocre

Kevin Smith commented that movies have become so bad lately that all it takes is for someone to say that a film is watchable or "not that bad" and he's on board. Having sat through the 3rd chapters of Spidy, Shrek and Pirates I understand Smith's sentiment. (Luckily, Pixar is coming to save the day with the wonderful RATATOUILLE).

I offer up 3 films with low ambitions and little praise that I found surprisingly easy to watch. I could absolutely rail against all of them, but I was pleasently entertained and am choosing to focus on what I liked about them.

The first FF was an abomination and one of my bottom ten of that year. This time the humor was more original (if only slightly funnier), the effects were considerably improved, there was more action and the group's dysfunctional family dynamic played a lot better (though Jessica Alba will always be a complete miscast from look to performance.) Plus we get the Silver Surfer, who's as cool as he looks in all the advertising. (Unfortunately, he's never cooler, but that's still enough for me.)

It's become fairly apparent that all big movies coming out lately, from Spidy 3 to Knocked Up are about 20-45 minutes too long. I watched the Director's long cut of GHOST RIDER on DVD and honestly wasn't bored for a moment. It's not a non-stop ride, I just liked the world and didn't mind that it took 30min just to tell the back story. A noticable step up from the director's previous DAREDEVIL, the Rider tries to be nothing more than a B-movie popcorn flick. It succeeds thanks to some effects both grand (the bad guy's entrance) and subtle (watch the Devil's shadow during the lightning storm). Cage, Fonda and Elliott are perfectly cast (balancing out horrible work from Wes Bently and Eva Mendes), and when the Rider goes to work with his souped up chopper and red hot chain whip, I was getting my movie popcorn.

I rented this because it was short, I was looking to laugh and the trailer I saw for it looked surprisingly funny. I've never seen the show, but this is 80min of agreeable silliness with an occasional groan and some bits of inspired genius. In short, it's a perfect Saturday night "let's get drunk and rent something" kind of film. Plus, I loved the supporting cast including Paul Rudd (almost unrecognizable as a Cuban mobster). The jokes are sometimes crude, but never quite gross thanks to a likable bunch playing Reno's finest. Like the other two films, it's not great and will surely be forgotten in a couple of years but I was surprisingly entertained.


Blogger Humby said...

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welcome back, Cutshaw

nice post

10:36 AM  
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